Why I'm Thankful For My Summer Camp Experiences
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Why I'm Thankful For My Summer Camp Experiences

Hello Mother, Hello Father...

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Why I'm Thankful For My Summer Camp Experiences
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Having grown up as an only child of a single parent, I was very sheltered. For the majority of my life my closest friend was my mom. Fortunately for me, while I growing up I was blessed with the opportunity to go to summer camp (a luxury many other low-income families unfortunately can't afford). From the age of five I went to day camp where my days consisted of hours of arts and crafts, fun field trips, and water play. I made new friends that I didn't see at school, I bonded with my counselors and got to make hotdogs shaped like octopi and slime made out of corn starch, borax, and food dye. To say my days at day camp were anything but bliss would be the understatement of the century, until they ended around the age of nine.

When I turned nine and was deemed a "big kid" I got the opportunity to go to sleep-away camp. I believe it was at this time that my anxiety towards the unknown was triggered. What's most interesting about the social experiment that is sleep-away camp is that different kids often have different reactions. Some kids can't wait to go; a break from their home life is welcome; other kids are a little ambivalent but otherwise don't mind the change and other children; others like me were visibly uneasy about the thought of spending four nights per session away from their home and parents.

As embarrassing as it is to admit today, I had major anxiety attacks and irrational fears associated with going to camp. Nothing particularly traumatizing happened to me except a profound sense of homesickness that thankfully I worked through. With the help of my tremendously patient and loving mom and my wonderfully attentive counselors I was able to tackle my fears head on while learning to love camp. I attribute a lot of who I am today to the experiences I had while away in the Hollywood hills at summer camp.

I'm thankful for the experience of camp because it allowed me to come home to a newly decorated and de-cluttered room. I am thankful for camp because it helped me to become more independent. I am thankful for camp because it prepared me to transition to college. I am thankful to camp because I can travel unaccompanied by my mom and feel self-assured. I am thankful for my camp experience because it has taught me to be more selfless. I am thankful for camp for giving me the opportunity to pay it forward by being a camp counselor as my first job when I was 19-years-old. While the initial experience was uncomfortable and I was a crying hot mess, clinging to care-packages from home, it allowed me to grow as I person and is an experience that I'll never forget!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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